Weblog of a Christian philosophy student

Weblog of a Christian philosophy student. Please feel free to comment. All of my posts are public domain. Subscribe to posts [Atom]. Email me at countaltair [at] yahoo.com.au. I also run a Chinese to English translation business at www.willfanyi.com.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The theoretical and practical problems of grace

Suppose two people are having a conversation about tennis matches between the world's best tennis players and one person asks, "But what would happen if someone got to the Grand Final and instead of playing properly, they just stood on the court, with their arms frozen to their sides, and span around again and again? What would happen then?"

In a way I believe this is like asking, "What would happen if God saved someone and they decided they didn't really like God and wanted to live a life lacking in empathy?"

When God saves someone God's Holy Spirit is supposed to be in them and with them and God and the Holy Spirit are supposed to change, over a long time, people's desires regarding wrongdoing. So if this process is happening, then there should be no way that someone's fundamental orientation should be against God and towards hurting people.

Phil 1:6: And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (NL)

The idea of someone undergoing this process deciding to abuse grace and embrace wrongdoing is a theoretical problem. It's not a practical problem. Just like in theory people in tennis Grand Slam finals can choose to spin around in circles instead of play, but in practice this is not a problem.

Another analogy might be if someone decided they really wanted to lose weight and someone organised a diet and exercise plan for them that would be really effective. Now, imagine they had the chance to eat chocolate cake every night and never exercise. They can do it, but they would ask themselves: should I, who want to lose weight, really eat these things and never exercise? Compare to Paul:

Romans 6:1-2: Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? (NL)

Paul points out that in theory Christians can do the wrong thing as much as they want and still go to heaven. But in practice, one, God has changed Christians' desires/wants so this is impossible and, two, if you love God and think being nice is a good thing, then why would you decide to ignore God and hurt people?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous." Rom. 2:13

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